Verdict: Four and a Half Years in Prison
A retired firefighter has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison in Washington for his involvement in the attack on the Capitol in January 2021 by supporters of then-outgoing President Donald Trump. Richard Barnett, 62, was accused of, among other things, disruption of public order and entry into an official building with a dangerous or deadly weapon, including carrying an electric shock device disguised as a cane.
“A Face of January 6th”
In a photo from the day of the Capitol riot, Barnett can be seen sitting in the office chair of Democratic top politician Nancy Pelosi, with his left foot resting on the desk of the former Speaker of the House of Representatives. He reportedly left a note calling Pelosi a “bitch”. Later, he offered signed copies of the photo for sale. Judge Christopher Cooper accused him of trying to profit from the attack, saying “you have become one of the faces of January 6th, and I think you enjoyed it,” according to reports.
Barnett Plans to Appeal
The prosecution had requested a seven-year prison sentence. Barnett, who is described in court documents as a supporter of the far-right conspiracy movement QAnon, defended his actions as an exercise of his constitutional right to protest. “I was angry that day. I admit that I was angry, and I apologize for it,” Barnett reportedly said in court. However, he accused the government of trying to force him to show remorse for things he did not do. He will therefore appeal the verdict.
More Than 950 Arrests After the Capitol Riot
On January 6th, 2021, Trump supporters stormed the seat of parliament in Washington. Congress had come together to formally confirm Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election. Trump had previously incited his supporters in a speech, claiming he had been denied a victory through massive electoral fraud. As a result of the riots, five people were killed. Since then, police have arrested more than 950 suspects, and many of the attackers have been convicted.